Every day, I open my eyes and beg every muscle in my body to move so that I can get up. I say day because at times like these, you never really know if you’re going to wake up at five in the morning or at 2 in the afternoon. You never really know if you’re going to sleep and if so, are you going to wake up, are we going to survive? By the time I am out of my bed, the sound of shelling I fell asleep to and forced myself to sleep through is now amplified. I pour myself onto the couch knowing what is going to happen next. I can almost count down the seconds: five, four, three, two…and boom. Boom. Boom. The cannon in the mountain above my house has started to bomb. Next, I hear the helicopters coming in with their propellers slamming against the air exuding violence and dropping bombs that glisten as they fall. Finally, the warplanes. These warplanes haunt me. They haunt every single citizen. You can only hear them, which makes them even more omnipotent. More dominating. More vicious. They hover over your home, dominating your city, and dropping rockets that wipe out buildings and in your head, you can see them fall like dominos. You can hear the last breath the martyrs sigh. These martyrs were probably in their beds, or working, or cleaning, or trying to study, just trying to maintain normalcy. I try to jump into my daily routine, remembering that I, unlike thousands of others, am not dead nor a refugee. However, every sip of Nescafe I drink and every time I lay a finger on my laptop, I feel disgusted with myself as the images of death flash through my eyes again. I remember that some people were forced to flee their homes and are now bearing this winter without a jacket to keep warm. I remember that my friends who were kidnapped have been missing for over fifteen days. Away from their families for 360 hours and as far as we’re concerned, they could be dead as well. I snap out of my spiraling thoughts thanks to a loud thud against my window deafens me for a never-ending minute. “Another terrorist attack,” I tell myself. I race to find my phone and call my brother who is at work, praying he’s still alive. At that moment, I find his arms nudging reminding me it’s still seven in the morning meaning that he is still home and safe. But also that once again, the bomb was timed and tens of students were on their way to school. We turn on the TV and wait for footage of the latest targeted area. A few hours later, I am incapable of stopping my tears as I see coloring books splattered with blood scattered all over the ground, some burning in flames, some still in a preschoolers backpack. I see charcoaled bodies and a gold bracelet still wrapped around a now jet-black arm. I see hundreds of bodies toppled and on top of each other, bodies of innocent citizens that were walking on the street, dead. I see my future. I see what we are left to deal with. I am now back to reality, a reality in which I pass the hours in guilt but feeling relief only by reminding myself that I am not dead yet, but I could be at any second. This is the life of a citizen in Syria. We may not be dead physically but we are emotionally tortured and waiting our inevitable turn.
This is a description of the life of a Syrian, taken from a first person source, during the revolution that has been plaguing the country for over a year. The Syrian people are fighting for their rightfully deserved justice. Bashar Al- Assad and his regime have refused to give their citizens the simple rights implicated to people. Assad has threatened to use chemical weapons as a last result against foreign oppositions as a last alternative to staying in power. According to the Human Rights Watch the regime has created an “archipelago of torture centers.” At least 27 torture centers, run by Syrian intelligence agencies were revealed by Human Rights Watch on 3 July 2012. Many detainees were cramped in tight rooms and were given limited resources, and some were beaten, electrically jolted, or debilitated. Cluster bombs are being used to bomb large areas. Propaganda has been used by the government forces to make the issue seem less extreme. The opposition is being referred to as “armed gangs” and “terrorists.” Public schools, now mostly closed, have been telling children that the conflict is a foreign conspiracy.
The Syrian government has ignited a fire that will not be diminished. The peoples mentality has changed to the point where a psychological rupture has occurred, people are willing to die and they will continue to die in order to achieve freedom and dignity. The Arab Springs taught people how to fight for what they believe in, but the Syrian revolution exemplifies the uniting of a nation to fight for their freedom.